So, to continue the thoughts of my last post, wherein I talked about my writing fears, I wanted to take it a step further: What is it that helps us (Me) overcome the fear of writing something really not good?
I'd like to say it is faith. Faith that I can do it. Faith that if I just work hard enough on it, the product will be good--it just has to be. Right?
Wrong. Working hard does not guarantee great writing (it DOES guarantee that you are becoming more of a writer, though).
There is nothing that guarantees great writing.
So, what then?
Well, I think what gets me out of my own head enough to follow the idea, even at the risk of writing drivel and ruining the very idea that once inspired me, is curiosity.
For me, that is the biggest motivator in writing. And my curiosity manifests itself in two ways.
1. The Self-Challenge aka Can I Do It? I read a recent interview of Stephen King by Neil Gaiman where Neil asked Stephen why he wrote a sequel to a certain book (I think it was The Shining, but I am not certain. Hey, it's Monday night and I'm feeling too tired to look it up. So let's just say, yes, it was The Shining.) Anyway, when Neil asked him why after a kabillion years he decided to write a sequel, Stephen said something about it being such a crazy thing to do, he just wanted to see if he could.
I have stories like that--stories I am working on just to see if I can do it. One in particular is a picturebook tentatively titled BOOM! which is told only in sound-effects, but contains a complete narrative (albeit short). I just really want to see if I can pull this off. I mean, what a fun book it would be to read. And even if I try and it stinks, well, at least I won't be curious about it anymore. I'll KNOW if I can do it or not.
2. The Follow the Story Challenge aka What is Going to Happen Next?? If I do a good job of setting up my story, then often the sheer curiosity of finding out what is going to happen next is enough to get my fingers typing. I don't tend to outline, so more often than not, I am surprised by what happens on the page, and that curiosity trumps the fear. I just have to know what will happen.
Most of my novels are like this. I get so immersed in the story that I don't have time to be afraid of it.
What helps you overcome the fear of writing bad stuff? (Or maybe you are lucky and have no such fears!)